Habit 8 – Goodbudget App

When Jason and I were first married, we went a few months without a budget. I knew what budgeting was and why it mattered, but we were completely remodeling our first home and I honestly just didn’t want to know what the total was going to be. I cared more about the job being done than about a low savings account balance. We had two incomes, no kids, and always paid the credit card bill in full – so we allowed ourselves to be a little disorganized. Then I started graduate school, and money was tighter. We took a Dave Ramsey class at church and started to do an amended version of the envelope system to keep better track. We don’t use cash (because we are the wallet-losing type sometimes), but rather put receipts in envelopes by category, using a running total system to keep on track for monthly budgets.

 

The second time we remodeled a home we went in with a budget and a five-year plan to finish everything. Then we decided to move again during month nine and I had to squeeze in as much of that plan as possible in order to have the house ready to sell – needless to say, we were way over budget! Every time we’ve moved (4 times in 3 years, including temporary housing between houses both times) it got more difficult to avoid slipping toward some overspending habits. Anyone who’s every moved knows about all the hidden costs. During the unpacking after this move, we discovered that the piggy bank actually shattered into pieces, a casualty of the box-tossing. The metaphor of the move breaking the bank was not lost on us!

 

So now that we’re exiting survival mode, I want to restart our envelope system a little. We’ve kept up with it throughout the move, but we got into a bad habit of letting the paper receipts pile up, then discovering we were over budget when it was too late to do much about it. To compensate, we would have to move money from the more flexible line items – but that means missing out on fun extra events, which is a bummer. The fact is that usually when we’re spending money, we are on the go. Also, most paper receipts don’t need to be saved or even printed if we can make a note of the expenditure right then and there.

 

So here’s our new system: use the “Goodbudget” app, which uses “envelopes” with designated amounts, but is completely paperless. Only keep receipts of items that will be tax-deductible or may need to be returned. Enter things right away, allowing us to react and change habits before we are over budget. The app is working great so far – some line items are monthly and others yearly for us, and it allows for that.

 

We’ve all heard that a failure to plan is a plan for failure. I think this is true in a lot of areas, but especially with money. The worry and stress over money will control you if you don’t control your money with a plan. Make sure you and your spouse agree on where the money goes, and keep each other accountable with spending. Couples can end up in dark places if they lose control of their financial habits. Ultimately, small decisions and good habits over time will allow families to be able to do the “big” things later.

 

Notes:

You may be wondering what happened to Habit 7 Blog. Well, I found out in late April that we are expecting a baby in December, and May was pretty full of just trying to survive the end of the school year while also getting through the exhaustion and icky-feeling phase of pregnancy. If I had to give it a title, it would be “Habit 7: Stop trying to accomplish so much and just get some rest whenever possible. You are growing a human, after all.” Jason was incredible about picking up the slack while I was utterly useless at anything but being the oven. He is a great dad!

 

I’m playing catch-up, for sure: Habit 8 should have come out 5/28, and Habit 9 is due in two days. Summer is about playing catch-up, though. We’ve actually been doing the Goodbudget app for a while now and it’s going well – I just hadn’t gotten around to the writing portion. Sorry to leave you in suspense!

 

Updates on Habits 1-6: This could get long if I address them individually. All are going pretty well – we need to reboot the use of Myfitnesspal (my eating habits in the first trimester are more for survival and whatever sounds good at the time, not really something I want to think about or keep track of). I am being pretty good about vitamins and water with the renewed motivation of pregnancy. Time-saving habits are not as needed in summer, but it’s a great time to catch up and make small changes so that the school year goes more smoothly. It’s also a lot easier to do smart things like reading and prayer time in the summer. More on that to come soon!

 

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Habit 6 – Curb the Sweet Tooth

sugar

I won’t claim to be a pioneer this time around: this idea is somewhat stolen, somewhat recycled. In college (just a few short years ago), we were challenged to a “Sweetless November” in the dorms. Each individual set their own boundaries – mine said that fruit snacks were OK, but gummy bears were not. I had a friend who thought a chocolate chip muffin was debatable – ha! Anyway, I told myself to avoid sweets, but that I could have one treat per week – so I didn’t drive myself crazy with cravings. I thought it would be really difficult, and it was at first. But I was amazed that by the third week, I didn’t even really want the weekly treat. When the month was over I found that I didn’t crave sweets often, and when they were presented to me I was full after just a couple bites. It seemed that the fast put them in their proper place.

However, it’s a slippery slope. This feeling full after a few bites certainly doesn’t last forever, because sugar is so addictive. Really, most of America is addicted to sugar. How did this happen? Well, primarily because it’s delicious! That’s not a problem in itself. But then Americans gained the means to enjoy luxuries in large quantities – our American dream slid quickly into all sorts of gluttony.

I don’t think sweets need to disappear entirely – what kind of world would that be?? But we can enjoy the treat without having to overeat. Remember those slogans for low-fat cookies and sugar-free candy? “Same great taste, half the fat!” “Same great taste, half the calories!” Well, how about instead of eating 4 cookies that taste like cardboard, we just have one that we can savor? How about instead of sugar-substitutes with mysterious side effects, we just view sweets as a rare treat? I think we all know what it does to us. When we overeat on sugar we have cranky kids, adults suffering from carb comas, an obesity epidemic, compromised immune systems, imbalanced diets, and rotting teeth. Delicious, yet – but not worth that!

I’ve tracked calories before, but never specifically worried about measuring sugar. Today, while I didn’t overeat as a whole, my diet included 1/3 of a small blizzard, sugar in my coffee, and three small pieces of Easter candy. It wasn’t anything monumental, but still probably 3x the recommended allowance. Even when I did my “Sweetless November,” I was still considering fruits snacks on the “acceptable” list. This time around, I’ll have to check labels and even count the sugar grams that a lot of food manufacturers sneak into products like ketchup. This will drive me to buy products without added sugar, which is a good habit anyway. The specific plan is to track sugar intake and keep it to the recommended daily allowance, which is 25g. Naturally occurring sugars in fruits and dairy do not count, but all added sugars in processed foods do. We’ll allow ourselves a weekly treat – it just has to be a serving size (so…not a large Blizzard!)

The husband is joining me on this one, of course. The kid is too, just doesn’t know it yet. And I have a dear friend who is always up for a challenge, and also wants the addiction broken. We’re all looking forward to feeling better, even though the first couple of weeks will be tough. Now that I’ve made it look so fun – join us?

 

See also –

WHO Lowers Sugar Intake Recommendations

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/world-health-organization-lowers-sugar-intake-recommendations/

 

My Family Stopped Eating Sugar for a Year and This is What Happened

https://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/family-stopped-eating-sugar-happened-202700552.html

 

Updates on Habits 1-5

 

1: We’re still steady water and vitamin people. Woohoo! Drian’s even gotten to where he’ll remind me that he needs his if I forget.

2: Myfitnesspal and I took a break over the Easter weekend, but I’m back on the wagon today!

3: We’re still working in workouts, even though it’s more like twice week instead of three to five times. Progress. Spring will help!! Our races are this weekend, so we’ll see the work pay off!

4: Calling out time-swipers: well, we got an Amazon Fire TV, which is awesome but came complete with a few video games…so we’ll keep working on this. To be fair, when Jason plays, it’s alongside Drian, so I would call that bonding time. Doing better at this!

5: Breakfast with Ozzie: We’ve put the book on the kitchen table and do sometimes fit it in at breakfast. However, sometimes mornings don’t include a long sit-down breakfast, so it gets moved to later, and some days it doesn’t happen at all. I’m learning to be content with progress, though! I love that Drian is seeing us read devotions together.

Habit 5 – Devotions

Habit 5 Blog – Devotions

 

This one is pretty short and simple – Jason and I have noticed one other area where we short-change ourselves as we shower our child with what we know he needs. Drian gets read to every night, sometimes for what seems like hours. He only gets to choose three books, but he’s resourceful and likes to choose a compilation book or, most nights, one of his several children’s Bibles. We read to him willingly because we know it’s good for him, especially when the content includes something educational, most importantly when it’s something from God’s Word.

 

But since we typically fall asleep getting him to bed, reading for ourselves has been short-changed. We want to get better about that, especially when it comes to devotions. Also, I have to say that I miss when we used to read together, talking about what we read. Before becoming parents (pause…reminisce…sigh…), we would sit around reading separate books, but stopping each other to share what we were learning and thinking. I know that sounds nerdy, but Jason and I share so many common interests that – unless he was reading something really technical about guitar equipment – we were always genuinely interested in each others’ books. We know it won’t be the same now with the demands of having a child, and the topics have perhaps shifted a little over the years (the stack now includes books on parenting, church leadership, and child brain development), but I want that habit back.

 

We’ll start simple, with a classic: Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, a daily devotional book that gives you something to process throughout your day. It’s quick, so my plan is that I will read it aloud to Jason as he’s making my breakfast every morning. In case you’re concerned that I’m trying to start two habits at once, don’t worry – he already makes me breakfast every morning 🙂

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Updates on Habits 1-4:

 

1: Vitamins and water is still a simple one, I start every day with that.

 

2: Myfitnesspal and I are friends until I eat out. So…I should probably stop doing that so much! Going well though, seeing some progress. Jason and I need to make a habit of asking each other about it daily, it works so much better with accountability.

 

3: Workout time is going pretty well, I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with injury and illness, but I’ve chosen to slow down instead of quitting. I’m still half-marathon training – doing more walking than I want to, but I have a broken (or very bruised…) toe and a cold that won’t quit. It’s going to have to be good enough! Jason is still playing ball, but his Achilles’ injury is bothering him when he runs. It sure sounds like we’re falling apart, but – it’s just been a long winter. Spring will fix everything!

 

4: Calling out the time swipers was a great plan…except that we’re in the middle of March Madness. Ugh. We may need to revisit this one after that’s over! We’re all getting a little better at using our odd minutes, though. Every little bit helps!

Habit 4 – Calling Out the Time Swipers

 Jason has been battling a bad cold / upper respiratory infection / ear infection for weeks now and is finally on meds and on the mend. When I asked him what he wanted Habit 4 to be, he sighed (probably because a four week illness has made Habit 3 difficult for him) and said, “To not be sick.” Well, I don’t have a magic wand to wave, but I know the man needs more rest, and I know that rest works in favor of good health. The problem doesn’t have a simple solution. I could say, “Habit 4 – Earlier Bedtime” – but that wouldn’t work, because it’s not an issue of not wanting sleep, it’s an issue of not getting everything else done to a satisfactory level and allowing ourselves the privilege of rest.

 

I’m very guilty of this too – I will stay up to the wee hours of the morning working on projects, homework, whatever – just because that’s the time when I can get my work done, when the house is quiet and the kid is finally asleep. But it’s a procrastination of sorts, and it’s not healthy – I push through this project, and just put off the fact that I’m going to feel like garbage the next day, and maybe even the day after that. I hate to be interrupted when I’m on a roll, and it’s always been my working style to burn the midnight oil. However, I am facing another job change in a few months, and I’ll be needing to rise from my slumber at a time that starts with a 4, so the nights of being able to check the next day’s Woot daily deals before going to bed really need to come to an end.

 

So that’s the issue, and here’s the plan: since we don’t have any promises or illusions of our work loads lessening, we need to identify some time “swipers,” things that aren’t so much an investment as an expenditure. (For the record: time spent with friends and family is always an investment). When we can call those out, we can get more rest. Some time swipers can be redeemed, others need to just go away. Time swipers can be redeemed by folding laundry while watching Hulu (instead of just watching), or getting on the treadmill during a KU game. We all know that, as busy as we are, the prevalence of mobile electronic devices and some other cultural shifts have led us all into some poor “time swiping” habits. The resolution this week is for Jason and I to hold each other accountable to these standards by saying things like:

 

I don’t mind if you watch basketball game, but on commercial breaks, can you collect laundry and load the dishwasher?

March Madness is rough on our housekeeping habits. To be fair, Downton Abbey doesn’t have commercial breaks, so I need to plan ahead to have laundry to fold or something.

 

What are you reading?

Sometimes when the answer is “the comments on another article about parenting – these people are nuts!” or “a gear page about pedals I can’t afford” or something equally time-swiping, we realize we need to put away the phone or close the laptop. Other times, it’s something worthwhile that can wait until after family time is over for the night.

 

If you need a 40-minute cardio workout today, how about taking the kid along and practicing soccer instead of just running alone?  

I still think workout time is an investment, but if we can make it a better investment by also making it family time, it’s a win-win.

 

It’s tough to have your choices and habits called into question, and some of these things sound a little like interrogation. However, the resolution is to agree to not get defensive, but rather to acknowledge when something really is a time swiper, and either redeem it or get rid of it. We have to remember that the goal is not to question each other’s judgment, but rather to get to a place where we all have more time for rest. I’m already looking forward to feeling better!

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Note 1: Yes, my use of the (non)word “swiper” indicates I have watched some Dora. Also, it sounded better than “sucker.”

 

Note 2: The updates on previous Habits were becoming a little lengthy, so I’ll put that section at the end now, if anyone is interested. Things are going well, Jason’s illness set him back on working out, but he’ll get back into it soon. He’s going to run the 10K the day I run the half marathon. We still do water and vitamins first thing in the morning, and have been pretty good about MyFitnessPal. The long runs have made that more enjoyable, as I often get an extra 500-600 calories from that. Yay for progress!

Habit 3 – Work Around the Workout Time

Reflection on Habits 1 and 2: Drinking water and taking vitamins (Habit 1) is still going well. With Myfitnesspal (Habit 2), we have actually been pretty good at keeping track of food, with exception of a few hectic days. We’ll continue this because it’s a constant reminder to make good food choices. For example, I have given up certain empty-calorie sources, as much as I love them (ahem, Dr. Pepper), because it is just not worth cancelling out the treadmill time. Jason started using the food scale to learn about what a portion looks like, because let’s face it – most Americans don’t know, and overeat as a result.

When I started this resolution, I had intended to focus on a variety of issues – health and wellness, household routines, family connections, money habits. What we found in our reflection is that our system was most “broken” in the area of taking care of ourselves physically, and that was in turn making other good habits suffer.  So even though my original intent was to rotate around the categories of good habits, we have yet to move beyond physical health. I’m OK with that for now.

This has been a long winter, and it’s taken its toll on our moods and energy levels. I decided recently that I needed a goal and a system for workouts, because I was finding it more difficult than ever to be consistent. Admittedly, I was overly ambitious when I lumped diet and exercise habit changes together for Habit 2. That is pretty difficult when you have very little extra time in the day for healthy cooking, grocery shopping, and exercise. My problem has never been that I don’t like healthy food or exercise – I actually really like both! The time crunch is the issue. Drive-through, as gross as it is, is so much faster than washing, cleaning, chopping and cooking fresh food. Some days I don’t have time to go home and eat, much less cook something tasty and healthy. Sometimes I would love a salad, but I haven’t made it to the store to get ingredients, so I can’t have one.  The solution – planning. Careful, long-range planning.

I don’t want to make the Habit 2 mistake and get too crazy here. I think there are some things about shopping, freezer-meal making, and other planning exercises that are good to do and will be candidates for later resolutions. For now, we’re sticking to this: schedule workouts, stick to it. Get a workout buddy if you need one. For me, this makes the difference between rolling over and hitting snooze and knowing you’ll let someone down if you don’t show up to work out. Jason and I will need to help each other by watching the child and keeping each other accountable. We’ll have to work on not procrastinating on other deadlines and putting ourselves in a position where you’ll “have” to give up a workout.

My personal goals are to reduce stress and finish a half marathon in April. Putting a date on the calendar is great motivation – it’s sad, but I live and breathe deadlines, so I need a little pressure to get going. Jason has joined a basketball league and wants to get back into running and lifting. Overall, I really believe that time spent exercising is an investment – time we’ll get back, probably multiplied. We’ll have more energy, and therefore work more efficiently. We’ll probably live longer, healthier lives as a result.  This is what I’ll have to keep repeating to myself over the next few weeks. When you dramatically increase your workout frequency / length, the first three weeks are rough – then it gets fun! My hope is that soon it won’t seem like such an effort to find the time and make it happen, that we can move smoothly from sporadic to 3-5x/week and feel better as a result.

PS –  I realize this post is a week late – oops! The good part is that we are actually on schedule with the new habit – it just took me awhile to get it posted (I tend to start things and get distracted). I’ve been half-marathon training for a week and a half now and am still upright. Jason has been playing basketball and has started doing treadmill time while KU plays. Progress!

17 Habits – Habit 2

First, an update on Habit 1: Water and Vitamins. We’ve felt better and found ourselves craving tall glasses of water, which is progress. Sometimes on the bitter cold days it is so tempting to just drink coffee all day, but I’ve made myself reign in the caffeine and drink water or decaffeinated hot tea instead. Not surprisingly, I have way fewer times when I stand up too fast and my vision narrows sharply. This is progress.

I chose Water and Vitamins as Habit 1 because our January was pretty crazy, and it was doable for that time frame. I knew I needed to get back in the habit of keeping a food and workout journal, but January 1-21 was not the time. Jason and I had the chance to take a wonderful vacation last week, and the last thing I wanted to do while eating fresh seafood floating in butter sauce and fried plantains and fresh Belgian pastries was try to enter it in a food log. Don’t worry, we also enjoyed some wonderful coffee and ate a lot of grilled fish and fresh fruit, but several of our meals were less than virtuous.

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Fresh seafood – dorado and shrimp, with plenty of butter.

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Tapas – Spanish omelet, calamari, ceviche, shrimp scampi. Again…butter. 

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I always have to try local, unique ice cream flavors.

 

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One of our favorite breakfast spots – breakfast burrito, french toast, eggs, cafe con leche. If it wouldn’t send me into cardiac arrest, I would just have the cafe con leche. But this place had incredible pain au chocolat, too. So…more butter.

 

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The above steak was the best Jason’s ever had – probably because they will actually give you “rare” beef. I thought the fish was excellent. I could not get enough fresh seafood on this trip!

There’s a joy in the feasting, for sure. We were celebrating eight years of marriage, and especially celebrating getting through what will forever be known as “Crazy 8.” 2013 was a wonderful year in many aspects, but it was also a very stressful time for our family. Honestly, 2012 wasn’t a lot easier. We were long overdue for a trip like that and I wasn’t about to put a guilt cloud of calorie-counting right smack in the middle of paradise. And even though we were headed to a place where it’s not advisable to drink the water, we were able to stay on track with Habit 1. We hopped on our four-wheeler, rode to the supermarket and put large jugs of water in my backpack (who needs a ‘grocery-getter’?). I also packed our vitamins in one of those daily pill counter things – proof you can keep good habits while traveling, and still be stylish.

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So here’s the rationale for Habit 2: The issue we’re facing is that we’ve long since lost our routine, and with it some of our discipline. This Habit resolution was chosen to regain some ground in a lot of areas. Currently, the most glaring are our diet and exercise habits. It’s an exercise in humility to write these blogs, because in being open about our new habits we’re also admitting what we’ve been struggling with.

In June we decided to move, for the second summer in a row. I tackled the task of cramming the rest of a 5-year remodel plan into the 10th month of living in our house. Hello, stress. Every day in June I came home from work and spent the rest of my waking hours packing, getting rid of belongings, painting, and moving (literally) tons of dirt and rock for landscaping. I had some excellent help in this process, but the task was daunting and I was scrambling. I had no time to cook and basically lived on Greek yogurt, hardboiled eggs and gelato. When I was hungry, I ate yogurt or an egg. When I was stressed, I ate gelato. The flaw in that plan is that I was constantly stressed. I was doing almost constant manual labor, so I justified the indulgence and definitely didn’t gain any weight as a consequence, but I became a stress eater. Hello, bad habit.

July was similar, heavier on the moving as the remodeling was done and the house sold. The sales process, as well as house shopping, was about as fun as everyone says. More gelato? Why, thank you, don’t mind if I do…

The fall was a blur of transitions, parties, new jobs, and time between houses when we ate out way more than anyone should (especially when there are about six restaurant choices in town and almost none with a good veggie-to-grease ratio). I kept sinking into the couch after a long day, forgoing a workout for one more day, week, month…you get the idea. Hello, survival mode. There were so many wonderful things happening, but somewhere in the mix our routine disappeared, and our discipline ran away with it. And honestly, we let it go. It felt good to celebrate, to indulge. We had made it through a move, after experiencing plenty of times when we felt like we’d never get through the thick of it. But of course, the coping mechanisms we reach for while in survival mode are often the very things that keep us there.

This town has been generous and wonderful and we have lived it up. We’ve gotten welcome baskets and been taken out to dinner, hosted and showered with cookies. And seriously – when someone throws you a welcome party, you eat the food!I haven’t turned any of it down, and I wouldn’t change it. Food and fellowship are the lifeblood of a community and I’m not giving up either one. My issue is that I used our transition as an excuse to stay in survival mode and not take care of myself, and without entirely understanding what was going on, I started to really pay for it.

The snug clothes and snarky scale reading weren’t my biggest issue – the real problem lies in the lack of self-respect that accompanies a lack of discipline. I blame no one else – no one made me go for seconds and my employer gave me a gym membership. Sure, at the time I would have said that my family needs me, that moms just don’t have time to take care of themselves by the time we take care of kids and job and house. And the move! Oh, my goodness, I have so much to do and unpack and I can’t find this and that and…you know, excuses. However, there are true biological consequences to eating excesses of not-so-healthy food and skipping exercise. Before long, I start to have these almost out-of-body experiences where I see myself overreacting and being impatient with my family. Jason had the same issue, though when it’s a man we have to call it “grumpy” instead of “overreacting.” It hit us that if we didn’t change our habits, our family would just get the leftovers instead of the best version of us. Parents are guilty of ceasing to care for themselves in the name of parental selflessness. But let’s not be martyrs – it’s like the oxygen masks on the plane, people – put yours on first, then help the kiddos. Otherwise you’ll pass out and then everyone dies. Or something like that.

So yes, while we may have to use the wee hours of the morning to do it, we are jumping back on the exercise train because our brains, our soul, our bodies all need it. And we’re going to use a food / exercise tracker (myfitnesspal) to keep on track, because that little pesky app will beep if we forget. Jason and I will make a habit of reviewing our days, of helping each other find time (and child care) to work out, of talking about what we eat. After Drian was born and I had a much more intimidating amount of progress to make, we did this together and it worked. I know we can do it. We’ll keep you posted in a few weeks!

17 Habits of 2014: Habit 1

New Year’s Resolutions are tricky. Everyone’s probably heard the depressing statistics of failure rates, people giving up and selling their exercise equipment on Craigslist by February. I could write my opinions on why this happens, but there are already several posts on that if anyone really doesn’t know. This year I want to try something different, and I think blogging about the process may help. Though the data isn’t entirely “scientific,” we’ve all heard the saying that it takes three weeks to develop a new habit. I would argue that it also takes motivation, a plan to succeed, reminders (post-its, smart phone notifications, or whatever works) and accountability.

So Jason and I have an idea for 2014. We have been through a lot the last couple years, and some of our good habits have fallen by the wayside. It’s a side effect of operating in survival mode for two years. We’re in a good place now, settled in and enjoying our new jobs, church, friends, and house. Life still has its challenges, but we are definitely out of excuses for being unorganized and sloppy with our health. Somewhere in the moving four times, storing things and changing addresses I became a person that sometimes forgot to open my mail. Sure, I got to it eventually, but I missed a baby shower once because I opened the invitation after it happened. Who does that? Somehow, though I know better, I let healthy habits go when work and parenting are too demanding. It’s really no way to live, as everything I cut out to save a moment ends up costing me more down the road. I don’t want to be a person that defines myself solely by what I accomplish, but I also can’t deny that some things are worth the effort, that the investment of time will yield lasting results that improve health, knowledge, relationships, and financial stability. 

Most of our goals have to do with improving mind, body, spirit. The issue is, there are so many things that need reformed – mostly little things – that we would have a tough time changing it all at once. Sometimes it’s a little organizational thing that will save us time and help ease our minds. Other things have to do with health or finances. The idea is that every three weeks, we add a habit. We talk about it, make a plan, and check in with each other. We post a reminder where it will work. And once we’ve been through a few of them, we flip back and revisit the old ones, to make sure we are still keeping up with them. If something isn’t working, we revisit our strategy. I have to resist the urge to want to start them all at once, but I know that is a recipe for frustration. I’ve learned over the years that I am the Queen of Sweeping Declarations like, “Seriously! No more ______.” or “We really have to _______.” I’m ambitious, and that’s good and bad. I am motivated, but I exhaust the people around me with my crazy whimsical ideas (sorry, Jason). A small lifestyle tweak every few weeks just seems more realistic, all working toward some larger goals. We’ll see how it goes!

Habit 1: Water and Vitamins

I know, I’m cheating the system with two habits. The thing is, one is washed down by the other, so I’m taking a free pass. We’re going to keep it simple to start with. Jason and I love our coffee in the morning, and we have a great routine where he makes eggs and coffee so we have our caffeine and protein to make it to lunch. I get to be reminded that he loves me every morning with my breakfast, and that is one great habit we have kept over the years. In fact, the eggs and coffee are so good that we end up forgetting to drink water, a habit that leads to fatigue, headache, and overall low function of the mind and body. By afternoon we’re both sluggish and he usually has a headache. Additionally, we both have vitamins in the cabinet that we know we should be taking, and we just forget.  It’s such a simple habit to add – start the day with a glass of water and take vitamins with breakfast, then use a bottle that measures to get another 32 oz throughout the work day, then drink another two-three glasses at night. I don’t need to re-state health benefits of water here, but they are pretty astounding if anyone wants to read up and get motivated. (Click here for Web MD’s article). So, January 1-20, we’re focusing on this. I will post again January 21 when we reveal Habit #2. Want to join us on the journey? Jump on the bandwagon, and think about some little things that can make a big difference when they add up. Maybe in a year this will seem like the simplest, best thing you could have done in 2014 🙂

 

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